Toronto’s yearly benefit gala instrumental to educational empowerment of island nations

TORONTO, ON–The University of the West Indies (UWI), ranked in the top four per cent of the world’s best universities, is entering its second decade of giving with the annual UWI Toronto Benefit Gala on April 4, 2020. As the University’s largest fundraising event in Canada, the gala helps provide critical scholarships to empower students with education that shapes future generations of the island nations.

Through its commitment over the past ten years, the Gala has awarded 550 scholarships and raised more than $2 million – figures it hopes to surpass over the next decade.

“Students in the Caribbean depend on the support and generosity of Canada’s business and academic communities, including its Caribbean diaspora,” said Donette Chin-Loy Chang, Toronto UWI Benefit Gala co-patron. “As we enter our 11th year of fundraising, we look forward to continuing our efforts in providing access to quality education that graduates leaders who make impactful contributions on a global scale,” she added.

Caribbean countries live in a constant state of vulnerability – economically, environmentally, and socially. Increasing intellectual capital through higher education of the region’s population is the most effective way to find innovative solutions that impact the society’s health and wellbeing. The benefits of education reach far and wide; many UWI graduates have gone on to make their mark worldwide – including Canada – in all areas of life, from education and business to research and medicine.

The 2020 Gala awards ceremony boasts an impressive list of honourees: Dr. David Suzuki (Luminary Award); The Honourable Margaret McCain (G. Raymond Chang Award); Sagicor Financial Corporation Limited (Chancellor Award); Mr. Harold Braithwaite, Dr. Gervan Fearon, and Ms. Shastri Ramnath (Vice Chancellor Award). These women and men continue to inspire us and give light to aspiring students globally. In addition, a highlight of the evening will be the introduction of an inspiring student whose remarkable story of survival gives us all hope for a better future.

Other co-patrons of the UWI Toronto Benefit Gala are Andrew Chang and Brigette Chang Addorisio, with Wesley J. Hall as Honorary Patron. The event is once again proudly supported by Scotiabank for the 11th year, and will be held at the Toronto Ritz Carlton. For more information please visit

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